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O-Zone: Figuratively speaking

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

J. Hooks from Fleming Island, FL

As the dead zone ominously approaches, and O-Zone insanity ensues, would you be so kind as to enlighten us as to what the players are allowed to do at the facility? Can they come in and watch film? Are they allowed to use the facilities to work on their conditioning and craft? Are the players allowed to get together on the practice field and study the playbook together? Can they work with position coaches while studying film of opponents or personal goals? I know it's a lot of questions but this time of year intrigues me as to how these guys can continue their development within the collective bargaining guidelines. Thanks, John. Enjoy Wimbledon. Lacrosse is a great sport. I'm glad you like it.

The NFL's offseason rules regarding the period between the end of minicamp and start of training camp are essentially the same as from the end of the season until the start of the offseason program. Players may use the facilities to work out and rehabilitate, and they may watch film on their own. They also may work out and meet with each other – and run drills away from the facility – as much as they desire. They cannot meet with coaches or discuss football topics with coaches until training camp begins. Most players will work out extensively during the coming weeks, and all but a foolish few will work to maintain their conditioning gained over the last several months; that's a necessity in the modern NFL, when shorter training camps mean players must report in shape. Relatively few will maintain a feverish pace when it comes to meeting among themselves and running football drills. That's how it should be. The NFL season is long and taxing both mentally and physically. Taking the next month for down time is encouraged and necessary.

Jordan from Jacksonville

#MJWD #DTWD #TCTWD #BBTWD. Am I missing anything?


Biff from Jacksonville

Ramsey vs. Odell. Got me thinking. Ramsey appears to have a switch for how he acts on field and off field. Past experience implies Odell does not. In your years of covering the NFL, what is required to manage such a split personality, and what allows some to be successful at managing themselves is such a way?

I don't cover New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., so I don't know why he behaves in any certain way. Having observed Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey for two seasons, I believe his "switch" for how he acts on the field is simply explained. While he is in on the surface an emotional player, I don't recall seeing Ramsey lose control of his emotions very often. Critics might point to his ejection against the Cincinnati Bengals last season as evidence to the contrary, but Ramsey really never lost control that day. He just pushed Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green too far, then got ejected when Green began an altercation. Ramsey actually usually seems remarkably in control for a young player. His trash-talking, his celebrations … while certainly entertaining, he almost always seems aware of what he's doing and why. When you're in control, it's relatively easy to manage oneself.

Big on Blake from Philly

I've been scrolling through the news and pictures from the Jags' offseason work, and two things stick out: Everyone seems determined to improve on last season – and everyone seems overall happy. This looks to me that last year's team was Year 1 of the truest sense of installing a new coaching system, and following through on the plan regardless of results. Fortunately, for our Jags it worked and they've all come back to camp bought in and happy. My question to you is, do you also get the sense that this team is not only happy, but hungry to surpass last year's result? And how different is this team atmosphere vs. Ramsey's rookie year (for example)?

The thought here is you have a good read on this team. One of the overriding takeaways from three weeks of OTAs and three days of minicamp is exactly that – that this team is motivated, focused and has rare camaraderie. It feels very much like you would expect it to feel – like a young team that has tasted the first delicious lick of success and has the desire for more. Are they happy? Yeah, there's an element of that. There are a lot of young players on this team. They like each other. They're winning. Their NFL lives seem to be spread out in front of them with seemingly no end or limit in sight. That's a pretty good formula for happiness. How is that different from 2016, Ramsey's rookie year? Well, there wasn't as much talent and they hadn't won anything. That's a big difference.

JagsMavs from Virginia Beach, VA

As I sit in my office admiring my framed, autographed Jimmy Smith jersey – and ink-bled Fred Taylor autographed football from his rookie season – I have to wonder, can it get any better?

Yes. You could be out of the office.

Bradley from Carson City, NV

Terrell Owens is absolutely HOF worthy. He is also a nutcase. He was a better player than any retired Jaguars players. He is also a huge nutcase.

I agree that Owens is Hall-worthy, though I don't necessarily think it is a crime against humanity – or even Owens' legacy – that he was not a first-ballot inductee. But as is the case with many assertions, your statement that Owens was better than any retired Jaguars players makes up for in boldness what it lacks in correctness. I would hardly call it an inarguable lock that Owens was better than former Jaguars left tackle Tony Boselli, and I'm not all that convinced he was inarguably better than running back Fred Taylor. More famous? Perhaps. But better? Eh. Agree to disagree, I suppose.

Daniel from New Jersey

O-man, I recently received my gold-and-black Jaguars flag that I found in the shop. I was super excited and hung it up in my "Man Cave." By "Man Cave," I'm referring to the spare bedroom that my wife has overtaken, but one day I hope she will give me some space. She noticed, so I had to take it down. Can't wait to fly it high in Game 1 at the Meadowlands. Ready already for the season!

You go, girl.

The Other Michael from Middleburg, FL

O King of All Funk ... I wonder at times if you are trolling us. For example, did you make Fournette's weight a discussion point in your Tuesday Notes and Observations simply to see how many O-Zone readers will suddenly become nutrition, wellness and conditioning experts?

I wrote about Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette's weight Tuesday because he talked about and it was therefore newsworthy that day. What O-Zone readers did with that information couldn't have been further from my mind. I have seen a lot of O-Zone readers, incidentally. One attribute most share with your humble senior writer is they are most assuredly not nutrition, wellness or conditioning experts.

Chris from Norfolk, VA

Hey O! If I can just say something about the website real quick. One, if you can find your way through a free website maybe you shouldn't post. Two, other than trials and tribulations of air-conditioning purchases, I couldn't tell you what any ad on this website is about.


Mike from St. Mary's, GA

Thanks Johnny-O, you answered my question concisely and respectfully, without mocking my fan-liness. You feeling OK?

I'll try to do better.

Ivan from Hollywood, FL

King of all Funk Butt, not counting this year's class, how many UFA's are on the roster? I read it was the most in the NFL.

I'm going to assume you mean undrafted free agents – UDFAs. This is a tricky question, because there are so many from not only this year, but past seasons – and also many former UDFAs who are long shots to make the team. The list of non-rookie UDFAs who appear likely to make the 2018 Jaguars indeed is long, though: running back Corey Grant, wide receiver Keelan Cole, defensive tackle Abry Jones, safety Barry Church (originally a UDFA with Dallas), safety Tashaun Gipson (Cleveland), cornerback A.J. Bouye (Houston), guard Andrew Norwell (Carolina), nose tackle Eli Ankou, safety Cody Davis (St. Louis), long snapper Carson Tinker, wide receiver Jaydon Mickens (Oakland), kicker Josh Lambo (San Diego), right tackle Jermey Parnell (New Orleans), cornerback Tyler Patmon (Dallas), guard Tyler Shatley, guard Chris Reed, tackle Josh Wells, linebacker Donald Payne (Baltimore), safety Jarrod Wilson and offensive lineman Josh Walker (Indianapolis).

Paul from Jacksonville

I have to revise my assessment of the website redesign. I can live with the ads. I can live with the layout. I can even live with the senior writer, if only in the figurative sense. What I can't live with is the way the "Ask O-Zone" form is currently coded. Every time I forget and

Well done, Paul.

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